Depletion studies are used to infer the presence of mantles and to constrain grain evolutionary models in the diffuse interstellar medium. The presence of these mantles appears to be important in the evolution of the grains inside diffuse as well as dense clouds. In dense clouds where the element-to-element abundances sometimes differ from those found in diffuse clouds, empirical relationships are starting to emerge between gas abundances and various types of peculiar selective extinction. These peculiar extinction curves may be the results of nonvolatile mantle formation on grain cores or may reflect chemical differences due to variations in the intrinsic metalicity from one cloud to another. A simple model of the time evolution of a parcel of gas and dust as observed by the depletion of two elements is presented. Different studies of grain evolution and selective extinction are discussed and compared.